P: 519.886.9150

Sign-up for our Newsletter

Follow Us on:


From time to time, the Waterloo Region Family Network (WRFN) is asked to distribute information on behalf of third parties. WRFN provides general information to self-advocates and families of children with special needs. The information provided on this website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider. WRFN is not responsible for any information or services provided by third parties. You are urged to use independent judgment when considering any resource.



Employment and Social Development Canada- Call for Proposals

This is a reminder that Employment and Social Development Canada has launched a Call for Proposals through the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) to fund new construction, renovation, and/or retrofit projects that will improve access to child care facilities in Canadian communities by enhancing accessibility for persons with disabilities.


Eligible organizations interested in receiving federal funding through the Enabling Accessibility Fund can visit the Funding page or consult the Applicant Guide. The guide provides more information on eligibility and on the steps to submit a proposal by email or by mail.


The deadline to submit a proposal is January 28, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) and ESDC will screen applications using a first-come, first-served approach.


If you have any questions about this Call for Proposals please send an email to [email protected].

Leah Bowman at 2:42 PM
RSS icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon

Basic Income Guarantee is the best way to improve lives

We are concerned that the public is not sufficiently aware of what has been happening with regard to the Ontario government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy launched over a year ago. An American “consortium”, FedCap, has been hired to replace the services previously offered by Employment Ontario in 12 regions of Ontario. This change began as a pilot in Peel, Hamilton — Niagara and Muskoka-Kawarthas in October 2020 and was expanded to nine more regions in June 2021. Part of this organization’s mandate is to help people receiving benefits from the Ontario Disability Support Program and Ontario Works find employment. The problem is – this organization does not have a good track record, and advocates for people with disabilities are sounding the alarm.


To read the full Hamilton Spectator article, click here.


Leah Bowman at 1:24 PM
RSS icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon

An Updated Outline with additional ideas from families for a . . . . Letter to Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health about Family-Managed Home Care


Currently, families cannot receive direct funding from the Family-Managed Home Care (FMHC) program unless they have power of attorney or guardianship for their adult loved one with a developmental disability. Because many people living with a developmental disability cannot do a power of attorney, the only recourse their families/caregivers have is to obtain guardianship.


The call from grassroots groups in October 2021 for a first round of letter writing highlighting issues of concern, led to a number of families and supportive groups putting forward letters to the Minister of Health, Christine Elliott. It appears this may have led to a possible exploration around these concerns by the Ministry of Health, but there have been no changes made as of yet, and there are no guarantees. To ensure that the concerns of families and friends continue to be at the forefront – additional letters are needed NOW! A second round of letter writing from an expanded tent is critical for the future in Ontario, and for those individuals and families who are being asked to get guardianship in order to receive Family Managed Home Care. Every month leads to more people with developmental disabilities being stripped of their rights, and lives being changed forever – all for one reason - a ‘support’ program.


There are many families across Ontario who have not wanted to take away human rights from their sons, daughters, sisters, and brothers through guardianship. They know that guardianship does not protect people into the future; it can put their loved ones at more risk! They also know there is another way and that it has been working within other ministries in Ontario.


Please consider sending a letter to the Minister of Health, Christine Elliott to ask for changes that will enable access to Family Managed Home Care for ‘EVERY ELIGIBLE CITIZEN’ in Ontario – and changes that will not discriminate against one particular group.


If you have already written a letter, or even if you haven’t, consider talking to a neighbour, extended family, friends, paid supporters, colleagues, or supportive agency representative. Let them know what is happening and ask them to write a short letter. For those who would like assistance, you might want to help them put a letter together.


Below are a few points to consider and information you can use for sending your letter:

1/ Consider emailing your letter to the following people, as well as your own MPP: Christine Elliott Minister of Health

College Park 5th Flr 777 Bay St,

Toronto, ON M7A 2J3

[email protected]

Cc: Dr. Catherine Zahn, Deputy Minister [email protected]

Melanie Fraser, Associate Deputy Minister, Health Services [email protected]


2/ Key points to choose from and/or to include, along with anything you would add yourself:

  • Family-Managed Home Care (FMHC) is an excellent program that allows people to source and manage health and personal care supports that are closely tailored to their needs.
  • With such a progressive program in place, it follows that all citizens in Ontario who fit the criteria, would have access to this program without having to be stripped of their human rights and decision-making.
  • Unfortunately, FMHC excludes many people who have a developmental disability. People with developmental disabilities who are considered incapable of managing the financial aspects of FMHC cannot access the program unless a family member becomes a Guardian of Property for the person needing support. That means obtaining guardianship through the courts – a long, expensive and unnecessary process; it means more hardship (and sadness) for families.
  • As the parent / sister/ brother/ grandparent of a person who has a developmental disability, I can’t ask my loved one to give up their human rights – the result of guardianship. For every part of their life, they would have no choice and control – everything would be in the hands of the ‘guardian’. And I can’t expose my family member to the risks of guardianship into the future.
    • As a (friend / neighbour / sister / cousin / grandparent / supporter / colleague) of someone I care about who lives with a developmental disability, I am shocked to learn that the Ministry of Health is requiring they lose their human rights in order to receive a needed support program. Insisting that my (friend’s / neighbour’s /etc.,) rights be taken away, to receive needed funds to pay their home health care supporters, doesn’t make sense. It is wrong. It will turn their life upside down. It feels like discrimination.
  • The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) has for many years allowed trusted family members to receive and manage funds on behalf of people who have a developmental disability – without recourse to guardianship. This approach has been successful with Passport, with Innovative Residential Funding, and other forms of individualized funding. Accountability measures are always in place for reporting the expenses. There is no reason to have different rules by different Ministries within the same government. There is no reason to create a barrier, when a viable model has existed in Ontario for decades.
  • My family (or my friend’s family / my neighbour’s family / my colleague’s family, etc.) is in desperate need of reliable, flexible health care support in the home. Family-Managed Home Care can assist with providing that support. Asking families to apply for guardianship in order to access the program is unnecessary. It will result in negative life-long repercussions.
  • This requirement is not consistent with movements focused on developing supportive decisionmaking frameworks in other Canadian provinces and territories, and other parts of the world. It is not consistent with what the United Nations has declared regarding the rights of persons with disabilities. To paraphrase: to live their lives with all their human rights intact, like other adult citizens, and to receive support with decision-making where needed by those who care about them and are in their life.
  • This is a solvable problem. Solving it will have positive outcomes for potentially thousands of families across the province. The solution cannot come soon enough.
Leah Bowman at 1:19 PM
RSS icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon

Family Literacy Day

Family Literacy Day is a national awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy and held annually on January 27th to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family. Even just 15 minutes a day can improve a child’s literacy skills dramatically, and can help a parent improve their skills as well.


Family Literacy Day here in Waterloo Region will once again by celebrated online.


Beginning January 22nd running through to January 29th, organizations that support the concept of inter-generational literacy will offer opportunities to explore and enjoy literacy. Play, Talk, Read, Sing and Write from the comfort of home! Tune in daily or at a time that is convenient.


This week long event begins with a kick off concert Saturday January 22nd 11am by Erick Traplin hosted on the Kitchener Public Library’s Facebook page: https://tinyurl.com/4bah2jht


Check out the Family Literacy Week schedule: http://pub.wpl.ca/books/cmuv/#p=1


The Early Learning and Literacy Alliance has generated some great resources from the Human Connections event last October and you can also find Cuddle Up and Read resources here as well: http://ella-wr.ca/


Leah Bowman at 12:59 PM
RSS icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon

Family Support Network for employment: Be inspired by personal stories about employment

The week of January 13th, follow a new story from Luca, who wants better employment opportunities.

Over the next months, as part of FSNE’s commitment to individuals with a developmental disability and their families to increase knowledge of employment based on best practices, we will share their personal experiences.


Watch on Youtube

Watch on Facebook


Leah Bowman at 2:55 PM
RSS icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon


Blog Contributor Portrait
Name: Leah Bowman
Posts: 328
Last Post: January 18, 2022
Waterloo Region Family Network
Name: Waterloo Region Family Network
Posts: 164
Last Post: November 12, 2019

Latest Posts

Show All Recent Posts



WRFN Newsletter Newsletter Research Resources Programs SEAC Adults Children Youth Conference Job Posting Government Support Autism Survey Camp ADHD FASD Workshops Counselling Down syndrome Events Cristina Stanger Carmen Sutherland